News

Lesane Issues Call to Action

A Statement to Presbyterians and Others following the Charlottesville Disturbances:

 

Our Souls are disturbed! Our Spirits are shaken! Yet, we do not lose faith!

Presbyterians in the Mid-Atlantic Region are being called to speak out against Hatred, Injustice and Racism of all kind, particularly that which was demonstrated in Charlottesville, VA, Saturday, August 12, 2017. This region (Synod of the Mid-Atlantic) is the largest number of Presbyterians (U.S.A.) in the denomination.

Can we use this collective presence for a forceful and visible voice for justice, equality and unity in the midst of Hatred?

White supremacists and neo-Nazis marched around the city chanting racist epitaphs. We saw visible symbols and activities, which at one point in history, were conducted in the shadows of the night. We heard the voices of young white men yelling racist words. We saw those carrying torches, Confederate flags and displaying Nazi symbols. One of God’s children was killed resulting from a car ramming the crowd. Two State Troopers died in a helicopter crash responding to the disturbance.

These activities are an affront to this nation.

Governor Terry McAuliffe responded forcefully to this matter and so did the Mayor of Charlottesville in their denouncement. It is clear that the President of the United States has chosen not to denounce these activities. Further, it is an affront to Presbyterians alike.

I believe that through the eloquent and poignant words of Teaching Elder Robina Marie Winbush, who wrote Day 4 in the 30 Days with the Belhar Confession, we can see our charge for the days ahead. She wrote,

“In so many places throughout the world, humanity finds ways to divide along race, class, caste, ethnicity and other humanly created boundaries. We use these boundaries to create social structures that are committed to maintaining systems of division and hostility.

“In both the United States and South Africa these structures were undergirded by theologies developed by “Christian” theologians who argued that it was God’s intention that humanity be separated, particularly along racial lines and that white supremacy was divinely ordered. The Confession of Belhar denounces such theology as heresy and reminds us that God gave us the gift of unity, even though this unity is often distorted by human brokenness. Therefore, we are called to work for the full realization of this gift. However, unity is not a passive acceptance of unjust systems for the sake of a false peace. It is the hard work of dismantling the systems that divide and subjugate sisters and brothers and building societies marked by justice and love.

“We live between the promise of the reign of God in Jesus the Christ and the fulfillment of that reality on earth is it is in heaven.”

 

Some Challenges for Presbyterians include, but are not limited to the following:

  • That Teaching/Ruling Elders and members take serious this gift of Unity and work judiciously to denounce racism, white supremacy and the evil acts of all hate groups.
  •  That Presbyteries assist its leadership and congregations to engage in the substantive work of Race and Reconciliation.
  •  That Presbyterians recommit themselves to ecumenical and interfaith work.
  •  That Presbyterians join in advocating for legislative policies that guard against such hatred and provide protection for those the hatred is targeting.
  •  That Presbyterians work for Peace and Unity in the places that you live and have influence.
  •  That Presbyterians Pray without ceasing!

In God’s Grace,

Warren J. Lesane, Jr.
Executive and Stated Clerk for the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic

 

A PDF- ADOBE version of this statement is found here.

J. Herbert Nelson-African American Profiling in Missouri

Please direct your attention to the link below received from PCUSA Stated Clerk, J. Herbert Nelson.  His office has received from the NAACP in Missouri. His office is also in conversation with St. Louis officials related to the upcoming 2018 GA.

oga.pcusa.org/section/churchwide-ministries/general-assembly-meeting-service/

Jubilee Grant-Application Date Extended to August 1, 2017

The synod Jubilee Committee has extended the application deadline for its grant to Tuesday, August 1, 2017.  Applications must be received and postmarked by that date.  Application and Guidelines available under Grants.

2017 Jubilee Fund Guidelines

Jubilee Fund 2017 App-Extention

Presbyterian Women’s 2017 Summer Gathering

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN Synod of the Mid-Atlantic Present the

2017 Summer Gathering  ~ June 15-18, 2017

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ~Hebrews 12:1

Featuring  The Rev. Denise Anderson & The Rev. Lynn Miller

Find more in-depth information on these workshops on the PW website at
www.pwsynodmidatlantic.org
and on Facebook at PWSSG.

Register Now using the forms found at www.pwsynodmidatlantic.org/services

To be held at Massanetta Springs Camp and Conference Center, Harrisonburg,Virginia 22801

Sample of the Workshops

1.     Horizons Bible Study– The Rev. Lynn Miller -2018 Horizons Bible Study,Cloud of Witnesses: The community of Christ in Hebrews. Lynn will share ideas and tips for effectively leading the Bible Study.

2.     We Choose Welcome– Carolyn Thalman,Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Responding to the refugees at our door.Learn how refugees come to the U.S.from the Middle East,Central America , etc.and how they are, or are not,welcomed.Hear how PDA is responding to the refugees at our doors.

3.     What’s in your Treasury? -Rhonda Martin, Financial Manager PW in the PC (USA},Inc. Overview of the new Treasurer’s manual and responsibilities of treasurers in the congregation,Presbytery and Synod. Good for all leaders to address all things PW! Download the manual and bring it with you.

4.    Challenging Racism, Materialism and Militarism– Racial Ethic Dialogue Panel.New strategies & long-term solutions to address these triple threats to realize racial transformation in our communities.

5.    Stand for Freedom: How to Counteract Human Trafficking– Sabrina Dorman-Andrew, New Creation VA. An in-depth look at trafficking along with ways you can make an impact right where you are.

6.     Waking Up White Conversations
The Rev. Denise Anderson,Co- Moderator of the 222    General Assembly (2016) of the PC (U.S.A.)- The Co-Moderators are urging Presbyterians via their “One Church, One Book” project to read and discuss Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. The conversations about race have been in silos but the hope is that conversations will broaden to include groups of different backgrounds and races.

7.      Stories from the Ages:Intergenerational Dialogue for Everyone
Hillary Mohaupt,Horizons writer.Baby boomers, generation Xers, and millennials- we all work welltogether,except for when we don’t. An intergenerational dialogue willbe an opportunity to listen,share and hopefully laugh together.

8.     The Belhar Confession- Celebrating the Faith We Share- Betty Dax Great confessions invite Christians to come together,affirming and celebrating the beliefs we share.The Belhar Confession was written as a Christian response to apartheid in South Africa. Explore this confession as a vehicle to celebrate worldwide Christian unity.

9.       Children In Crisis: Why We Do What We Do
Jack and Lora Morgan, Presbyterian Children’s Home of the Highlands – Learn the root causes of the breakdown of the family structure,where children go when they are removed from their home and explore the current state of the Foster Care System.You’ ll hear the stories of young people succeeding against overwhelming odds.

10.      Energizing PW
Mary Cook Jorgensen.Go beyond theice breakers and fun and games. Explore ways to open your PW groups to new members while revitalizing the current membership.

11.       We Choose Welcome-
Carolyn Thalman,Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

Honoring Jesus’ call:Welcoming Central American Children Fleeing Violence,
Luis Cardona. This workshop will remind us of our love.

Building Bridges to the LGBT Community
-W. Bryce Hayes,James Madison University.Explore ways to engage members of the LGBT community in the ministry and membership of your church.   Leadership training suggestions will also be shared as we become more inclusive in the body of Christ.

What’sin your Treasury? – Rhonda Martin,Financial manager PW in the PC(USA), Inc.(See workshopA3}

The Belhar Confession – Celebrating the Faith We Share – Betty Dax. (See workshop 83)

Children in Crisis, Why We Do What We Do
-Jack and Lora Morgan, Presbyterian Children’s Home of the Highlands. (See workshop 84}

Breathe I- Alanna Brewton, Breathe, LLC- yoga for everyone. Dress comfortably and bring a mat and a towel.

Make a Joyful Noise I
-Gathering Choir with Lindsay Sensabaugh 3.Getting Out of Auto I- Michael Martin, Me Memories Photograph let your creativity take hold. Bring your cameras and your flash.

Quilting in the Spirit I Fabric Circles Make Hexagons
-Carol Winkler, Moderator for PW Churchwide Coordinating Team.  Make a 20″ flower garden pillow top. Bring 1/3 yard of 4 different fabrics for flowers,4-8″ contrasting squares (flower centers) and 1 yd. solid colored fabric for joining flowers and pillow back. Bring scissors, needle,and thread to blend with your flowers.

Praise His Name With Dancing!
– Terry Dunevant.   Liturgical dance.All levels, shapes and hearts welcomed.Wear yoga pants and a T-shirt,or something that allows freedom of movement.

Witness? Me? YES, US
-Joan Berry. Walking,drawing,or using  a hand labyrinth is about conversations with God that involve “listening”. Come and seek that walk and talk with the Spirit.

Massanetta Work Group- Massanetta Staff
Enjoy a part of God’s creation for a while and help Massanetta at the same time!  Spend some time painting,working in the flowerbeds,or helping somew here else that will make a difference in Massanetta’s summer mission. Bring clothes you can get dirty in, and work gloves will also be useful. Tools,brushes, etc. will be provided for all work needed. Project specifics available about two weeks before the Summer Gathering.

Women of Color’s Annual Consultation Update

Friday, November 11th at 7 p.m., Reverend Doctor Joan Salmon-Campbell, Moderator of the 201st General Assembly PCUSA, will deliver the keynote address for the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic Committee of Women of Color’s Annual Consultation.

The event will be held in the Trent Room (118) in Early Center, 1002 Westwood Ave., Richmond, VA 23227, on the campus of Union Presbyterian Seminary, 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA. 23227.  More information: charlitalytle@yahoo.com

Consultation Theme: Prayer is the Key

Scripture: 2 Chronicles 7:14

 

November 12th, the second day of the two-day event will be held a the Holiday Inn- I-64 West End- 2000 Staples Mill Road, Richmond.  23230

Speaking the Truth

The Public Policy Witness Purpose Group of the Presbytery of the James
Invites you
to
Speaking Truth
(Advocacy Training for People of Faith)

Sunday, November 13, 2016
2-5 pm
The Early Center Union Presbyterian Seminary
3401 Brook Rd.
Richmond, VA. 23227

(See invite and information link below)
speaking-truth-event-flyer-final
speaking-truth-invite-1-final

Women of Color Annual Consultation-November 11th & 12th, 2016

Theme: Prayer is the Key
Dates: November 11-12, 2016
Location: Union Presbyterian Seminary-Lake Chapel
Keynote Speakers-Rev. Nancy E. Thornton, Minister Linda Brown and Rev. Lessie R. Alcin

See link for more information and registration
cwc-flier-2016-revised-3